Dr. Aung Soe (a) Aung Kyaw Moe
Retiered State Medical Superintendent

T.V watchers who spend long hours looking at screens have changes in their tear fluid similar to people with the disease known as dry eye.
The protein MUC5AC, secreted by cell in the upper eyelid, makes up part of the normally accruing mucus layer, or “tear film” that keeps the eye moist. But study participants with the most screen time had MUC5AC levels nearing those of people with diagnosed dry eye. “To understand patients” eye strain, which is one of major symptoms of dry eye disease, it is important that ophthalmologist pay attention to MUC5AC concentration in tears,” said Dr. Yuichi Uchino, who is an ophthalmologist at the school of Medicine at Keto University Tokyo. When people stare at screen, blinking times decreased compared to reading a book at the table, the study reveals. Same is in Myanmar as Japan. People staring at screens also tend to open their eyelids wider than while doing other tasks, and the extra exposed surface area in addition to infrequent blinking can accelerate tear evaporation and is associated with dry eye disease, Ochino said, which also applies to Myanmar people as well as Myanmar doctors, I believe, especially “live” broadcast fans.
Dry eye may be chronic for some but can be managed with over the counter or prescription eye drops. The subject “dry eye” pushed my mind into my past days. When I was assigned periodically during 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s at numerous hospitals at different positions in Central Myanmar, so called “dry zone” under Ministry of Health as well as different assignments at Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) under Ministry of Energy and also duties under Ministry of Mines, I noticed plenty of similar dry eye patients among the employees and also in the general public. So also in some tropical countries where I served under UNDP as UNV. Past research suggests that up to 5 million men and women over age 50 in the United States suffer from dry eye disease, the researchers write in their report. In Japan, tens of millions of people report some dry eye symptoms.
Seven percent of men and 14 percent of women were diagnosed with ‘dry eye disease,’ meaning they reported symptoms of eye problems like irritation, burning or blurred vision and had poor quality or quantity of tear film, according to the tests.
Overall, participants looked at screens for just over eight hours a day and had an average of about 6.8 nanograms of MUC5AC per milligram of protein in each eye. “Mucin is one of the most important components of the tear film, “said Dr. Yuichi Hori, “Mucins (like ,MUC5AC) function to hold water on the ocular surface of the epithelia that synthesize them, hence, they are major players in maintenance of the tear film on the ocular surface,” Hori says. He is chair of the department of Ophthalmology at Toho University Omori Medical Centre in Tokyo.
Concentration of the protein was also lower for people with symptoms of eye strain than for people without symptoms, according to the results published in JAMA Ophthalmology. People with dry eyes at work tend to be less productive and are more likely to be depressed, according to previous studies, Uchino said. Those who are worried about dry eye can make some simple changes to decrease their risk, Uchino said. “The exposed ocular surface area can be decreased by placing the terminal at a lower height, with the screen titled upward,” Uchino suggested. Doctors also recommend using a humidifier for the eyes and avoiding being in the direct path of the wind from an air conditioner.
Let me sincerely remind Koria-movies-addict Myanmar families who watch three or four or even more movies coutinuosely.

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